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Pakistan, Afghan presidents vow to fight terrorism

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Feb 16, IRNA

Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf and Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday vowed to continue their joint fight against terrorism, saying the fight against Al-Qaeda and Taliban is in the interest of the two nations and the region.

The two leaders said their two countries were in a joint struggle against terrorism and against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

"We are part of the coalition, the international coalition, but more than that it is a joint fight of Afghanistan and Pakistan," President Musharraf told a joint news conference after their official talks.

"This is an evil affecting Afghanistan and Pakistan. Therefore, it is incumbent on both Afghanistan and Pakistan -- the governments of both sides, the intelligence agencies, the military of both sides -- to jointly cooperate, coordinate and fight this evil," General Musharraf said.

He said Pakistan looks forward to all the cooperation from Afghanistan to fight terrorism in various areas.

"I would like to end by wishing Afghanistan all the success in the future and jointly for the progress of the people of Afghanistan, for the people of Pakistan which are inseparable, therefore, Pakistan and Afghanistan must prosper together," he further said.

President Karzai, for his part, said that the fight against terrorism is "a fight of both of us because terrorism is affecting both the countries and we will succeed when both of us will fight this evil to remove it from both countries and indeed from the region and the world."
He said the economic ties between the two countries are excellent.

During the rule of the Taliban, Pakistan's exports to Afghanistan amounted to USD 25 million. Fortunately, today that export has reached USD 1.2 billion, Karzai said.

"There is much greater room in our region for greater, better and broader cooperation for the benefit of the people of the two brotherly countries and for the benefit of the people of the region," he added.

He said that Afghanistan was the best participant because of the very basic fact that it would be the best beneficiary of peace and stability in the region.

But Afghanistan will also be a contributor as it has been, he added.

"I am sure that for Pakistan the interest of peace in Afghanistan and in the region is as vital as for Afghanistan."
He said he was happy with his discussion with President Musharraf and hoped that the two countries would move forward in the direction that they had set for themselves in the fight against terrorism and in promoting better, stronger economic ties between their countries.

President Musharraf said that he was proud of the fact that ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan were developing very positively.

"Our trade interaction has reached an amount of 1.2 billion dollars and we look forward to enhanced economic relations.

He said Afghanistan and Pakistan definitely needed to prosper and move forward together.

Welcoming the Afghan president, he said that any number of interaction at any level was most welcome as for as Pakistan was concerned.

The Afghan president again conveyed the grief and sorrow of people of Afghanistan for their brothers and sisters in Pakistan who were affected by the disastrous earthquake of October 8 last year that struck the country.

"As I mentioned earlier, the pain of the earthquake was felt in Afghanistan as well," President Karzai said.


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